Mass Infringement Pre-Settlement Lawyers Team Up To All Fail Together

from the good-luck dept

We've noted how in the past year, a bunch of "pay up or we'll sue" law firm operations have popped up, signing up confused and short-sighted copyright holders, who believe that shaking down fans is a business model that can work. Of course, to date, this legal strategy has been failing pretty spectacularly in court. It is true that some folks just pay up but as these lawsuits continue to have trouble in court, people will begin to realize that paying money to someone who just demands it probably isn't a smart move. Of course, one of the issues is that none of the law firms actually have the manpower to follow through and sue people, so it should come as little surprise that some of the law firms who have recently been losing in court, including Kenneth Ford, the lawyer for Axel Braun, as well as Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver (which is the law firm behind US Copyright Group) are teaming up to try to work together. I guess they figure it's better to fail together, rather than to watch each fail alone.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:11am

    Sorry, but that song/movie is on my "pending list."
    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5563/125/

     

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  2.  
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    Teddy_Bear (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:30am

    Way I see it.

    DGW gets a few firms in or near major metro centers to file these mass shakedowns in multiple courts to avoid the jurisdictional issue. This only serves to keep the "settlement mill" running. They still don't have the ability, the manpower or even the intention to take any signifigant number of people to trial. What needs to be done is to force a court to make a decision on misjoinder and make these shysters file individual suits.

     

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  3.  
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    Pixelation, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    I had a professor in high school who had a saying. "When the going gets tough, the fluff'll get slutty". Seems to apply here.
    Sure would be nice to collect some of the money these firms waste.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:50am

    Any court "losses" so far have only been directions by the court to refile in other ways. They haven't lost anything, just made it even more expensive for the pirates when they finally get caught.

    By banding together (and probably adding in lawyers all over the country) they can refile in many jurisdictions, once again starting the process.

    The only "mill" here is the piracy that keeps grinding out the free copies, day in, day out.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    Blah blah blah, unfounded assertion. Rawr rawr rawr refusal to accept reality.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, you comment about TD's post is correct. "Blah blah blah, unfounded assertion. Rawr rawr rawr refusal to accept reality." about sums it up.

     

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  7.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They haven't lost anything, just made it even more expensive for the pirates when they finally get caught.

    Please back that up. How is a "pirate" going to be made to pay a more expensive fight?

    By banding together (and probably adding in lawyers all over the country) they can refile in many jurisdictions, once again starting the process.

    Obviously, the RIAA's lesson in 2008 from this is no indicator of the future. They have three major cases pending.

    A pyrric victory

    A refusal to pay

    Limewire's search seeking vs the RIAA's statutory damages

    How about some research before looking bad in front of others next time? ;)

     

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  8.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    3 of the 4 linked items get websensed because of the word porn in the title, may i offer a vote for websense friendly titles.

    That and not reusing a link in the span of a paragraph.

     

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  9.  
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    big al, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 6:30am

    M_O_N_E Y

    hummmm i'd love to see how the split for this joining is going to be.... now you have 2 sets of lawyers to support.
    oh that's right it's just for the 'JUST CAUSE" as we all know..

     

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  10.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Maybe USCG can show these porn guys how to plead a case that won't have the bulk of the defendants severed before they get their addresses to use for the settlement offers.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Clearly you have no understanding of precedents in law, and sample settlements. You are also forgetting the dissuasion factor that more and more settled lawsuits will cause.

    Jammie Thomas is a great example. She is likely to spend the rest of her life living poor because she got horrible legal advice. Instead of settling for a few thousand and moving on (which the RIAA offered her multiple times) they fought, and now she is pretty much under a settlement order for the rest of her life.

    Limewire is even worse, they are likely to set the whole thing back for filesharers, when the RIAA comes up with enough information to convince the courts of the losses as a result of file sharing, which could very likely establish a working number.

    All three of those cases have been won by the RIAA, all were found liable. The question is how much, not if.

    Perhaps you would like to do some research before looking stupid in front of others next time.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because refuting a post with a logically presented argument with referenced sources is a method of looking stupid. That's much worse than what iptards do by having post after post of simply saying, "you clearly don't understand", and spouting pure speculation and unsupported opinion, right?

     

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  13.  
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    lordmorgul, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Extortion

    Extortion by a licensed lawyer is still Extortion. No way to sugar coat the truth there. These guys are operating an extortion racket... and lots of stupid Americans who do not know their rights are simply paying them money.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    That certainly would be to the plantiff's benifit, personally I won't shed any tears for missed pre-trial gains from people who were severed by a judge.

     

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  15.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    iptards

    You know, I've been looking for a rejoinder to "freetards," and I think I've found it.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You know, I've been looking for a rejoinder to "freetards," and I think I've found it.


    It is funny, but is it worth stooping to their level?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    I'd like to vote that we make every URL websense unfriendly.

     

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  18.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Clearly you have no understanding of precedents in law, and sample settlements. You are also forgetting the dissuasion factor that more and more settled lawsuits will cause."
    We have a precedent.
    300 000 songs willfully infringed for commercial gain = 45Mil.
    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5563/125/

    That is $150 each when used commercially. What should it be for Jammies' non-commercial use?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I like the word: irrelevant

     

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  20.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is funny, but is it worth stooping to their level?

    I'll stoop to any level to get a laugh.

    ...On the other hand, I'm not all that funny, so I guess I should keep it civil instead.

     

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  21.  
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    Teddy_Bear (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Blah blah blah..still doesn't address the fact that the "game" here is to strong arm cash out of people based on an IP address alone. With no intent to actually sue anybody. What percentage of IP owners (people paying the ISP) are actually the people doing any ALLEGED downloading? These cases if the ever do go to trial are going to sink faster than the Titanic.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jamie Thomas may end up poor but she will not be alone see EMI is right behind her LoL

     

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  23.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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  24.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dang, forgot to close a bracket:


    Limewire
    ...

    The RIAA has been having that particular stumbling block since the DMCA came out. They lobbied for the laws and yet have NO proof of the damages caused by filesharing. Yes, they can shut down the P2P technology but then something else comes up that they can't fight. They try to take that down and like moles, something else springs up. So keep on believing they can convince a court of economic damages. I just think that (FINALLY) we can get a few good details on filesharing in this modern era, instead of lopsided anecdotal evidence of it "killing an industry".

    Perhaps you would like to do some research before looking stupid in front of others next time.

    After 10 years of studying this stuff, studying (and using Napster and finding newer bands), listening to Dmusic.com, jamendo, OCRemix, last.fm, among the myriad of other things, I think my education is well on its way.

    But I guess when your last piece of music was analog tape, you can't expect much. Oh well, better luck next time with the insults. ;)

     

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  25.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Limewire is even worse, they are likely to set the whole thing back for filesharers, when the RIAA comes up with enough information to convince the courts of the losses as a result of file sharing

    One thing you didn't mention: the RIAA is not the only one coming up with loss figures. As directed by the judge, Limewire is also coming out with its own estimates.

    Between the two, I think we'll see some real interesting figures. If the judge is rational (I'm betting he is), the damages will almost certainly be closer to Limewire's estimates.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    These guys should start rubbing their prayer beads. Once the judges catch up and figure out the misjoinder issue, these will go away fast. Being able to go after thousands for a single $350 filing fee is potentially profitable -- but that margin goes away quickly when you have to file against every defendant individually as per the joinder rules. Not to mention that each case costs more than just that filing fee -- misjoinder will be the big nail in this coffin, but these groups are hoping that judges won't figure it out or something.

    ...thankfully we have the EFF around to, you know, remind people of these things.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re:

    The problem isn't the argument -- it's the fact that the defendants are not joindered correctly at all. If we're following the conventions to the letter, none of these cases would be against more than one defendant, or a few at the most -- and those that stick together would have severance be their first tactic, as the joinder would be flimsy at best.

     

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  28.  
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    average_joe (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re:

    The problem isn't the argument -- it's the fact that the defendants are not joindered correctly at all. If we're following the conventions to the letter, none of these cases would be against more than one defendant, or a few at the most -- and those that stick together would have severance be their first tactic, as the joinder would be flimsy at best.

    How do figure they're misjoined? I thought USCG has done a good job pleading sufficient facts to justify joinder under Rule 20. The judges have agreed.

     

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  29.  
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    Teddy_Bear, Jan 13th, 2011 @ 5:02am

    I don't think the judges have ever properly addressed the joinder issue. They appear to be avoiding it at present. Eventually a real decision on the issue will have to be made.

     

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